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Ravens_cry
2010-04-02, 06:42 PM
One of the ideas that have floated around my head was a stone age D&D campaign. Now, several of the weapons are unchanged, clubs, spears and axes make sense, as do bolas and bows. But crossbows and swords are right out. Does anyone know of, or willing to help with, stats for other stone age weapons, such as throwing sticks and atlatl?

I would like advice on what would be appropriate changes to make for armour, if possible. After all, the technology to make better then hide doesn't even exist yet.

Finally, the classes. A monk fits even less well then usual. And a wizard, if he was called one at all, would tattoo his spells to his body. Just how much space would that be? Is there a shamanistic kind of class anyone home-brewed, and tested, that fits better? Most others work fairly well, though the cleric may or may not require some tweaking.

Wealth wouldn't be in coins but in trade goods. Can anyone think of some others that would work well, besides those listed in the PHB? Metals are pretty much out.
Thanks for any help, I really appreciate it.

Adrayll
2010-04-02, 06:44 PM
Atlatl would work as javelins/throwing spears, but with additional bonuses for strength and range (possibly work the thrower like a compound bow in that sense).

Rixx
2010-04-02, 06:45 PM
Personally, I'd leave out most arcane casters entirely. Arcane magic seems like a culmination of study and knowledge as directly translated to raw power - it carries with it implications of enlightenment and civilization, which I think are a bit out of place in a stone age campaign. Druids might work, but even clerics would be a bit shaky.

PersonMan
2010-04-02, 06:47 PM
In the DMG it mentioned alternate time frame campaigns, near the table with the future weapons. I believe it said that bone weapons are -2 to hit and damage, but I don't remember much else. I think it's in the Campaigns chapter.

Ravens_cry
2010-04-02, 06:50 PM
In the DMG it mentioned alternate time frame campaigns, near the table with the future weapons. I believe it said that bone weapons are -2 to hit and damage, but I don't remember much else. I think it's in the Campaigns chapter.
That's because there is none. Which is why I have posted this here.:smallsmile:

PersonMan
2010-04-02, 06:54 PM
That's because there is none. Which is why I have posted this here.:smallsmile:

Ah. I see.

...I was going to say some things, but upon further thought they don't really work. Good luck, though.

Ravens_cry
2010-04-02, 07:12 PM
Ah. I see.

...I was going to say some things, but upon further thought they don't really work. Good luck, though.

Thanks for the encouragement, I value that.

pffh
2010-04-02, 07:27 PM
Are you going full fantasy world in the stone ages? If so then I would consider making the sorcerers the main arcanists.

Dragon shamans and other dragon worshipers could be common if dragons exist (big dangerous things = gods).
Druids and the whatsitscalled the sorcerer like divine casters could be the main diviners.
I would see rangers being a very powerful character in the tribes, someone that can track prey and tame animals is going to be important maybe not chief or shaman important but important.

The gods would also be different. Nature worship would be more common. That is worshiping some elemental like beings or maybe vestiges and of course dragons.

TheYoungKing
2010-04-02, 07:45 PM
Frostburn has a lot of what you'd want.

arguskos
2010-04-02, 07:47 PM
Concerning weaponry, check out Sandstorm and Frostburn for lots of fun primitive weaponry.

As for classes, you can TOTALLY play an arcane caster! Check Dragon #344, Class Acts: Arcane, for the Anagakok, a unique variant on the specialist wizard who has a special school he learns spells from, can't cast any necromancy/illusion spells, and has actual class features (not like it's really that great though). Fluff-wise, they are casters that use a connection to the natural world and rote memorization to learn spells. I highly recommend them. :smallwink:

urbanpirate
2010-04-02, 07:50 PM
dump clerics pally and monk

focus on sorceror, favored soul, shammy and druids as casrters.

as stated above frostburn has some good stone age stuff, also some of races of stone would be good.

PersonMan
2010-04-02, 07:53 PM
the whatsitscalled the sorcerer like divine casters.

Favored souls, right?

pffh
2010-04-02, 07:54 PM
Favored souls, right?

Yeah those.

Fcannon
2010-04-02, 08:37 PM
Given that it's DnD, demon/devil worship would probably be a very real and dangerous thing (primitive man being easier to manipulate). I could see the PC's fighting a rival tribe whose warriors are Warlocks instead of Fighters, with some mid-range devil being worshiped for the power he can grant.

KillianHawkeye
2010-04-02, 08:37 PM
Don't forget Adepts. They'll probably be even more common than normal, and could be used to theoretically replace wiz/sorc/cleric/druid.

Rappy
2010-04-02, 09:54 PM
Pick up Frost and Fur from MonkeyGod Enterprises. It has Pleistocene-, Norse-, Eskimo-, and Slavic-themed campaign layouts.

From Stone to Steel by the same company has a dedicated Stone Age equipment chapter as well.

Harperfan7
2010-04-02, 11:51 PM
A throwing stick could just be a club with better range that has a -4 penalty to melee.

What material a weapon is made out of is more important.

You're basically going to have inferior weapons and slightly less inferior weapons. You might even want to give different kinds of stone different stats, maybe different kinds of bone even. A club should be treated as an inferior weapon anyways, and especially in this game.

As for armor, have fur (padded), hide, bone (arms and equipment), and mammoth fur (races of stone). You could make many more along the same lines. You should have different levels of shields too.

You might let highly intelligent characters invent shortbows. In fact, I would just make craft a very valuable skill in this campaign, with each character probably wanting at least a few ranks in several crafts.

Their will probably be no currency whatsoever. If anything people trade one valuable commodity for another.

As for classes, I would say barbarian, druid, ranger, sorcerer, shaman, and maybe scout for starters.
Every monster killed is its own treasure - meat, fur, bones, whatever.

awa
2010-04-03, 02:10 AM
You have a choice to make if all weapons are made of primitive material you could not worry about the penalties associated with them or of course you could give all characters the penalties that come with stone weapons but rule magic versions don't have the penalties or you could use the rules and give all non casters another nerf.

One of the complete books (complete mage maby) had rules for non book spell books tattoos were an example.

I second frost burn as a good book for a game like this in addition to primitive weapons it also has smilidons and neanderthals.

Yora
2010-04-03, 05:12 AM
I'd start with watching Conan again. :smallbiggrin:
Actually more bronze age, but make the cities and palaces less fancy and you have a good starting point.

Kiero
2010-04-03, 05:30 AM
The Imass people before they became the T'lan Imass in Erikson's Malazan Empire series might yield some ideas for things. There's a lot about investing magic in stone to stop it shattering or chipping, which allows longer blades. Like stone swords, which require pretty strong wielders to use effectively.

Magic might allow materials that wouldn't otherwise be good for weapons as they are. Like obsidian axe and spear heads. The Aztecs used chunks of it bound to clubs to make sword-like weapons; being volcanic glass it's razor-sharp, but fragile especially in bigger pieces. Magic could stop it being so fragile.

Shells, bone tokens, wooden tokens, just about anything else can be used as a unit of currency. As with precious metals, all it really needs to be is widely accepted as a unit of exchange and redeemable for something of value. Otherwise as mentioned trade goods like furs, food, jewelry, ornaments and so on.

Taelas
2010-04-03, 06:51 AM
Properly sharpened obsidian makes a razor look dull.

Iban
2010-04-03, 08:09 AM
You're going to want something made out of flint 'cos there is a tonne of flint back in them there days :smallsmile:

So you could have Craft(Flint [insert random flint product]) as a skill.

Also, if you were to have throwing rocks, I sudjest that they would do 1d4-1 + Str damage or something.

Hope this helps :smallsmile:

Lysander
2010-04-03, 09:09 AM
I would keep Bards actually. Tribal music and battle drums totally fits with their powers. With bardic lore and healing magic they could very well make a good clan shaman.

Anonymouswizard
2010-04-03, 09:23 AM
Classes: barbarian/beserker, savage bard? (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#bardVariantSavageBard) , druid, ranger, rogue, sorcerer (just from the players handbook). I'd suggest adding warlock for demon-worshipers and dragonfire adept for dragon priests (look, the dragon gave me some of it's power, it must be a god!). As a down side maybe these creatures absorb the souls of their acolytes when they die.

If you have dragon magic I suggest taking some ideas from the winged deities section.

"Boys armed with sticks"

Sorry, couldn't resist a lord of the flies quotation.

Make sure that they go out and hunt, food won't stay fresh.

lightningcat
2010-04-03, 10:45 AM
Heavy armor is gone. Most of the medium armor as well. Even shields would be iffy.
Additionally, magic items should be RARE. As in each one is one-of-a-kind, named, and important. They could still be made, but they need a important reason, and they would never be random treasure.

Mark Hall
2010-04-03, 10:45 AM
Regarding weapon damage and the like:

Determine what you're going to use as baseline technology. Are you assuming that everyone has multi-part stone tools (i.e. knives have handles and not just a dull edge, spears are stone points fixed to wooden shafts and not just fire-hardened wood)? Are they pre-handle?

Determine the baseline, and call that "steel". "Steel" weapons do as much as they are listed to in the PH. Things that are worse than "steel" (like the fire-hardened tips of wooden spears) may have a penalty, or a breakage chance, but the baseline technology does not.

Pechvarry
2010-04-03, 10:59 AM
Regarding weapon damage and the like:

Determine what you're going to use as baseline technology. Are you assuming that everyone has multi-part stone tools (i.e. knives have handles and not just a dull edge, spears are stone points fixed to wooden shafts and not just fire-hardened wood)? Are they pre-handle?

Determine the baseline, and call that "steel". "Steel" weapons do as much as they are listed to in the PH. Things that are worse than "steel" (like the fire-hardened tips of wooden spears) may have a penalty, or a breakage chance, but the baseline technology does not.

This is also what I'd suggest. Refluff the baseline as needed, leave stats as they are. Then give bonuses/penalties based on how anything compares to the baseline. This can even replace, to some degree, magic equipment for melee.

What this also allows is leaving many armors the same, as well as refluffing armors that don't fit (hide armor can become mammoth hide, while a chain shirt becomes bear hide).

Serpentine
2010-04-03, 11:08 AM
Here's what I've got for the Americanish part of my game, taken straight from my treasure tables, that could work:
Atlatl (spearthrower x2 range, +str dmg)
Macuahuitl (1 or 2handed, 1d8/x3, S/B, 6lb)
Tepoztopilli (as halberd, no trip)
Blowgun
Blowgun, greater - Complete Warrior
Blowgun darts (10) - Complete Warrior
Bolas - Races of Faerun
Bolas, barbed - Complete Warrior
Boomerang - Complete Warrior
Lasso - Races of Faerun
Harpoon - Stormwrack
Harpoon, arctic - ?
Throwing axe
Dart, barbed - Races of Faerun
Sling
Darts
Dagger
Club
Quarterstaff
Handaxe

Almost none of the armour in this area is metal, but for ease of play I mostly just consider bone and specially hardened wood to be as good, especially if it's magic, with consideration for the material if it is ever of actual concern (which it pretty much never is in my games).

Mark Hall
2010-04-03, 11:11 AM
An apropos question: Why is this world Stone Age? Is it in the Stone Age because no one has advanced past that? Is it in the Stone Age because a previous magicolpyse trashed the planet and threw everyone back to the stone age (killing off most of the adults with useful skills, leaving mostly kids under 10 who didn't have real skills to figure out how to survive)? Is it simply that there isn't much metal in this world, and so stone is the best available material (the Dark Sun explanation). If it's the first, why is this world so "new", and how do the various races fit into this; one of the big problems for early man was, presumably, continuation of knowledge... if I know X and die, you have to rediscover X for yourself. With some races, that would still be a problem. But even assuming elven lifespans are a third of what they are in standard D&D, you're still looking at hundreds of years where two (or more) generations are alive and able to communicate.

Another important question is "What Stone Age"? Some of this was addressed above in the answer to the weapon question, but "What Stone Age" determines a lot about various technologies.

In the Paleolithic, we're looking at pure hunter-gatherers. We're likely looking at little medicine (less of an issue when you have priests, but still worth considering). Tools aren't much better than "I broke a rock and made one end sharp".

In the Mesolithic, we're getting into newer, more efficient tools, but ones without a lot of the mechanical advantages (tools are deliberately shaped, but single pieces... no handles). You're still pre-agriculture, though.

In the Neolithic, you're looking at the beginning of argiculture and horticulture. There aren't cities, but we've got villages and towns and the beginning of skill specialization... people who make their living as doing something other than food producers, instead of being food producers who happen to be good at making tools, or turning to something else once they're inefficient food producers (i.e. too old to hunt).



One of the ideas that have floated around my head was a stone age D&D campaign. Now, several of the weapons are unchanged, clubs, spears and axes make sense, as do bolas and bows. But crossbows and swords are right out. Does anyone know of, or willing to help with, stats for other stone age weapons, such as throwing sticks and atlatl?

If you can find it, get Combat and Tactics for 2nd edition. It has an excellent weapons list, including notations on what weapons are suitable for what campaign periods.


I would like advice on what would be appropriate changes to make for armour, if possible. After all, the technology to make better then hide doesn't even exist yet.

Most armor will be simply hide. If you're at the paleolithic time period, you may have some people who wear leather or padded equivalents, or maybe some masterwork Hide. Again, I suggest Combat and Tactics... it's got a variety of armors that you can adapt to different campaign periods.


Finally, the classes. A monk fits even less well then usual. And a wizard, if he was called one at all, would tattoo his spells to his body. Just how much space would that be? Is there a shamanistic kind of class anyone home-brewed, and tested, that fits better? Most others work fairly well, though the cleric may or may not require some tweaking.

Personally, I'd make most "clerics" into Spirit Shamans, from Complete Divine. It fits better into a Stone Age milleu. I'd avoid full-on druids or clerics, or heavily neuter them. Your shapeshifter types should likely either be bear-type barbarians or the shapeshifter ranger variant.

For arcane spellcasters, I agree with the general feeling that sorcerers should predominate over wizards. You might have bards as being a good option, as well... they make excellent "Wise Men" types, having a variety of knowledge, the ability to inspire people, and spells that mostly don't blow people up or instantly kill them, but instead trick, fool, or buff.


Wealth wouldn't be in coins but in trade goods. Can anyone think of some others that would work well, besides those listed in the PHB? Metals are pretty much out.

Take a look at the trade goods section of the PH's equipment chapter. I'd also use GP as a guideline of value, even if you don't use GP itself. Feel free to have value vary from the baseline... like roll a d6 and if it's 1-3, it's that time 10% lower in value, and if it's 4-6 it's that -3 times 10% higher in value than listed.

Ramza
2010-04-03, 11:13 AM
Pick up Frost and Fur from MonkeyGod Enterprises. It has Pleistocene-, Norse-, Eskimo-, and Slavic-themed campaign layouts.

From Stone to Steel by the same company has a dedicated Stone Age equipment chapter as well.

I would recommend taking a look at these...but it does not look like rpgnow sells it anymore...but here is a link of a short review of From Stone to Steel...
http://www.rpglife.com/node/382

Curmudgeon
2010-04-03, 11:34 AM
The magical components for many spells are going to be extraordinarily rare. Cut gemstones? Just not available. No mirrors at all. No paper or parchment. And certainly no spell component pouches with all this stuff inside.

Mark Hall
2010-04-03, 11:52 AM
The magical components for many spells are going to be extraordinarily rare. Cut gemstones? Just not available. No mirrors at all. No paper or parchment. And certainly no spell component pouches with all this stuff inside.

Well... I can definitely see spell component pouches, but it's going to need to be self-gathered, or prepared by another shaman.